MARYVILLE, MO — A new program at The Rose Theater looks set to bring new opportunities to young audiences looking to spend more time in theater.
This program works with students in grades 1-8 to help them create storybook adaptations on stage. Storybooks and programs are intended to give young audiences the opportunity to experience theater for the first time.
Director Jennifer Ogwyn said, “It’s a very child-friendly production. “The story is the same. The length of the play is short, and the young actors are like a comfortable introduction to the theater.”
This year’s Storybook to Stage program presents Tomie DePaola’s picture book Strega Nona for free. The book follows Strega Nona and her helper Big Anthony as they discover Nona’s secret magical pasta pot. Nona whispers a spell into the pot to produce most of the pasta, and Anthony accidentally floods the pasta and reveals her secret to the town.
Students began weekly practice in September. This included working on scenes, building sets, learning songs and theatrical games, and learning other aspects of theater. According to O’Gwin, weekly practice gave students more responsibility to learn their lines and remember to do things on their own at home.
“I’m really happy to bring this to the community, and I hope there’s enough continued interest,” she said.
During the summer, children can attend performances put on by the Maryville Young Players, but Ogwin said the area does not have programs throughout the school year and children travel to St. Joseph to meet their needs. increase.
“We want to increase youth theater opportunities locally so that talented kids here can enrich our own communities instead of taking their talent out of town. ‘ she said.
In addition to the production of “Strega Nona,” The Rose Theater also presents the Oscar Wilde comedy “The Importance of Be Earnest,” with a cast of high school students.
According to O’Gwin, the play is a comedy of manners that challenges children’s acting skills. She said she and the cast turned the performance into a “theater workshop” that allowed them to explore characters, movements and vocalizations in a fun and interesting way. By exchanging lines with Gwin, I was able to smooth out my bad choices.
During rehearsals, O’Gwin and her assistant director, Megan Vesel, provided dialogue and prompted movement throughout the stage, which can be seen “sitting tense” while watching.
“If you know the lines, you’re used to the lines, and you listen to them every week, you think it’s going to stop being funny,” said Ogwyn. “But the writing is so clever. It’s set in Victorian England, but it’s a question of the identities and masks we wear, and who we present to the world, and who we pretend to be.” I think the issue is really, really relevant in the social media age.
Kathryn Vezel, who plays Lady Becknell, described her character as very stern and uptight, saying, “It’s the embodiment of that meme. He was a little confused, but he had the spirit.” .”
The meme consists of screen grabs of actors Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro from a 1992 episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, a reaction to a well-intentioned but inappropriately executed situation. used as The screen grab includes Will Smith’s character line at the bottom of the image, “I’m a little confused, but I’m on fire.”
Lady Becknell’s role in the play is to oppose the marriage of her daughter Gwendolyn and Jack Worthing.
Ivy Goldsmith portrays Gwendolyn Fairfax, the perfect picture of a prim and proper woman in the 1800s.
Goldsmith has been with The Rose Theater since 2017, appearing and working on costume design, set design and other aspects of the theater.
“I love theater,” said Goldsmith. I love the community here. Like everyone is so welcoming. It’s like one big family. I really like that. “
The Rose Theater presents Strega Nona on Saturday, October 29 at 1:00 PM. Admission is free, but seats are limited. “Seriousness Matters” is his three performances on Friday, November 4th at 7:00pm and Saturday, November 5th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Tickets for this performance are available for $8 on The Rose Theater’s website.